For use of information media - Not an official record

17 June 2002

Forty-nine countries are currently designated by the United Nations as least developed countries (LDCs). The current criteria are: low national income (per capita GDP under $900 for countries now joining the list), weak human assets (a composite index based on health, nutrition and education indicators) and high economic vulnerability (a composite index based on indicators of instability of agricultural production and exports, inadequate diversification and economic smallness). Different thresholds are used for addition to, and graduation from, the list of LDCs. A country qualifies for addition to the list if it meets inclusion thresholds on all three criteria, and if its population does not exceed 75 million.

Table. Selected economic and social indicators for LDCs

Selected economic and social indicators for LDCs

Source: UNCTAD, The Least Developed Countries Report 2002.

a: National-accounts-consistent poverty estimates based on the $1-a-day international poverty line in 1985 PPP dollars (i.e adjusted for the difference in the purchasing power of one dollar between countries).
b: Average 1995-1999.
c: Data refer to the most recent year within the headline period.
d: Total population for Tuvalu is 11,000.

UNCTAD´s Least Developed Countries Report 2002 contains a statistical annex of basic data on the least developed countries, which includes 31 tables that synthesize the most recent data from international sources.


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